Media and Democracy Project Supports Pennsylvania Senators' Request for Swift Action on WTXF License Renewal

Published

Urges FCC to Grant Access to Key Non-Public Discovery from Recent Litigation to Ensure Fair and Neutral Review as Senators Request

--News Direct--

The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) today renewed its call for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into FOX Corporation's (FOX) conduct before approving the license renewal of FOX 29 Philadelphia (WTXF-TV). MAD submitted comments in support of U.S. Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey’s recent letter, agreeing that the Commission should “act swiftly” and designate the WTXF application for hearing.

In light of serious allegations of rule violations and concerns regarding character, MAD emphasizes the critical need for a thorough investigation into a Murdoch-owned FOX broadcasting affiliate. “FOX Corporation’s (FOX) conduct following the 2020 election was so destructive of the national interest that the Commission must designate the application for hearing,” the filing reads in part. “The documents that are the subject of MAD’s motion can only reinforce what is already in the public record, further demonstrating the egregious behavior of FOX and its leadership.”

MAD asserts that it has “raised substantial and material questions of fact concerning FOX’s fitness as a licensee based on its promotion of false election narratives and its failure to maintain current political files.”

While there is no set timeline for an FCC decision, MAD is encouraging the Commission to:

  • Prioritize a swift but thorough investigation: The Philadelphia community deserves a licensee that operates in the public interest, and any delay in the FCC's decision only prolongs this uncertainty.

  • Grant MAD's Motion for Production of Documents: Access to additional information is crucial to uncovering the truth and ensuring a fair and complete review.

  • Hold a hearing to examine the evidence: MAD believes the seriousness of FOX's alleged misconduct warrants a full and public airing of the facts.

“If properly pursued, the Commission likely would conclude that the station is not serving its community well and the community would better be served by a licensee other than FOX,” the filing continues. “Apparently, despite FOX’s entreaties, the senators were willing to give only a lukewarm endorsement to FOX 29, as they would to any television station in the Philadelphia viewing area.”

The filing ends, “granting MAD’s Motion for the Production of Documents will enable MAD to bolster its allegations with relevant information not yet in the public domain or available either to it or the Commission. Airing of these documents is essential to the fair and neutral review that the senators request.”

The Petition to Deny and Motion for Production of Documents are pending while FOX faces a number of court challenges, including those put forth by election administration company Smartmatic and a host of pension derivative shareholders.

The rush by proponents of FOX to support the station and the various calls for its relicensure is more about avoiding the additional scrutiny FOX management is sure to face in the Smartmatic and shareholder lawsuits. Each of these will show what we know to be true from Dominion—management knowingly pushed false news to protect FOX's profits. All the evidence in each of these lawsuits must be evaluated to ensure the FCC has the information necessary to rule on whether FOX, Rupert, and Lachlan Murdoch have the character to remain trustees of the public airwaves.

A copy of MAD’s filing can be found here.

The Media and Democracy Project: MAD is a non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots organization focused on strengthening a free and independent media in the public interest. MAD aims to improve our national discourse so that American voters can engage in informed decision-making. As part of that goal, MAD has an interest in the responsibility of journalists and media to report fully, accurately, and fairly on the electoral process and the outcome of elections. Additional information is available at www.MediaAndDemocracyProject.Org.

To sign up for more information from The Media and Democracy Project, click here.

Contact Details

Raynor Ave.

Aaron Alberico

+1 202-744-0786

aalberico@raynoravenue.com

Company Website

https://www.mediaanddemocracyproject.org/

View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/media-and-democracy-project-supports-pennsylvania-senators-request-for-swift-action-on-wtxf-license-renewal-207995349